Australia Responsible for Dire Conditions of Refugees

Australia Responsible for Dire Conditions of RefugeesAustralia Responsible for Dire Conditions of Refugees

A lawmaker said the Australian government is responsible for the deteriorating conditions facing refugees in a camp in Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, saying Canberra must provide consular access for those wishing to return to their countries.

Morteza Saffari, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said, “The Australian government, despite all its apparent support for human rights, has made it very hard for those taking refuge there and pays no attention to human rights [of those concerned] whatsoever,” ICANA reported on Saturday.

More than 600 refugees and asylum seekers have barricaded themselves inside the mothballed detention center on the island. The camp officially closed on Oct. 31, but the detainees, who were sent to the island as part of Australia’s offshore detention program, have refused to relocate to temporary accommodations. They say they are afraid of violent reprisals by the island’s residents.

Saffari described the Iranian refugees’ living conditions in the camp as “deplorable”, adding that it was up to them to choose to return to their countries.

“Australia must provide necessary [consular] services for those regretful refugees who wish to return to their countries,” he concluded.


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